With the Debt Ceiling Deal, America Has Been Played

Obama showed his hand too early in the debt crisis and backed himself into a corner.

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Oh what a tangled web we weave…

The deal is done. The House passed it, the Senate passed it and the president signed it. Done deal, debt ceiling raised. So, we can all sigh a huge relief right? Er, not really.

Just look at Wall Street yesterday. The Dow Jones closed down, again. The international community was sickened by the circus they saw the U.S. government enter into for this deal; and the country is divided over whether it's happy with the outcome.

What we do know is America is happy something was done on a bipartisan level. And that's where the happiness ends. [See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.]

What we do know is the Republicans don't really want more cuts, for if they did they would've embraced the president's original plan which would have reduced the deficit by nearly double the very plan they voted in favor of.

We do know the Tea Party holds more than just a checkbook when it comes to Republicans and yes, I'm talking about a body part here.

We do know that every party is now even more divided, fragmented than before. The Republicans can't decide if they want more spending cuts or if they just want to try to make the president a one term leader. The Democrats feel like they've been thrown under a bus, and regardless of their anger over no increased revenues in this plan, many voted for it. And the Tea Party? A movement within the Republican Party, (obviously they don't have the guts to be a party); well, their approval rating has steadily dropped since March, and it seems the only people that bow down to their demands, despite their being a minority, are House Republicans. [Check out political cartoons about the Tea Party.]

And lastly, there is the president, who I feel showed his hand when he told the American people (and the right wing of Congress was listening): 'I won't invoke the 14th amendment to raise this debt ceiling.' Mr. President, stay away from the poker table please! In doing this, the president backed himself into a corner, cutting a deal with Republicans that was clearly in their favor: entitlements may be cut, but tax revenues were ignored. The bottom line is a Democratic president signed an agreement which will stop those unemployed from receiving their extended benefits while continuing to give tax credits to the rich; the rich who pocket the money and have not (nor will they now or ever) use it to stimulate the economy or to create jobs. [See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

A Democrat, imagine.

I am hoping someday I can look back upon this and think the president had an ace up his sleeve; but for now, I see that he bent over for Republicans in an attempt to gain independent votes and in doing so, perhaps lost as many liberal Democratic votes as the votes he gained.

Even sadder is that this is not over. This circus, this nightmare has just begun. Round two is right around the holidays; when medical providers can look forward to more cuts and seniors can look forward to lining up on sidewalks outside of emergency rooms to find someone, anyone to treat them if a deal can't be done. And with these guys in Washington? A deal can't be done.

Call me a pessimist, I'd rather be called realistic. Anyway you look at this, in my opinion, we've been had America.

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